Each year, on the fourth Sunday in July, thousands of runners from across America and around the globe return to Santa Cruz, California for the annual six-mile race to Capitola-by-the-Sea. First run in 1973 by a handful of locals, the Wharf to Wharf Race today enjoys a gourmet reputation in running circles worldwide. Its scenic, seaside setting, perfect weather, and festive beach party atmosphere make it a favorite of casual joggers and elite athletes alike. Limited to 16,000 runners, the race sells out each of its registration windows in a mere few hours. Runners are thrilled just to get in!
While many come for sun, fun and fitness reasons, serious athletes run to test their mettle against the best. The race draws an elite, international field. Runners know that a good showing at Wharf to Wharf is a guaranteed boost to their running career. The roll of past champions includes a number of former Olympians.
Widely acclaimed “The best little road race in California”, Wharf to Wharf is the biggest summer event of its kind on the West Coast and a boon to local business, annually infusing more than 8 million dollars into the Santa Cruz County economy. It receives broad media attention, and is highlighted in all running industry polls and publications as one of the top races in America each year.
The Race is produced and administered by Wharf to Wharf Race Inc., a California nonprofit corporation chartered to promote running as a means to health and fitness. In service of this mission, the Race has, since its inception, contributed more than $6 million dollars to Santa Cruz County youth sports programs in general and the running community in particular.